Controversial housing plans withdrawn

ONE of the key developments in the controversial plans to build nearly 6,000 homes on Ipswich's northern fringe has been withdrawn.

Graham Dines

ONE of the key developments in the controversial plans to build nearly 6,000 homes on Ipswich's northern fringe has been withdrawn.

With the borough council indicating that no houses would be built until 2015, Ipswich School has decided not to proceed with its two plans to develop its playing fields off Valley Road with 320 homes and for a replacement sports park off Tuddenham Road.

In a statement issued yesterday, the chairman of the governors Karl Daniels said the school was “disappointed” that the applications had had to be withdrawn.


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“We entered into this process looking for a way to fund exceptional sports facilities and we continue to believe that the sports park would have been a real asset to Ipswich,” said Mr Daniels.

“We will now keep our options under review and monitor the progress of the council's consultation on the masterplan for the north of Ipswich.”

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He said the school regretted that the sports park application had had to be withdrawn, but without the funding from the sale of land north of Valley Road, the school could not finance the project.

Ipswich School has no plans to resubmit the applications, but with both parcels of land in its ownership, it is keeping a watching brief on the borough's next moves.

The council is now consulting on its draft development framework, which is intended to guide future growth in Ipswich until 2031. Both the government and the East of England regional assembly have designated the borough as a growth point, and expect the council to provide land for around 18,000 homes.

If the whole of the northern fringe, which includes farmland south of Tuddenham and Westerfield, is developed, it could accommodate a new town of up to 5,800 homes with a primary school, medical centre, and shops.

The school's decision has delighted borough councillor Michelle Bevan-Margetts, one of six Tory rebels who voted for a borough-wide referendum on the northern fringe development.

“This appears to be good news, but it is only one development of many. I urge people to make their views known during the consultation process and to support a referendum - residents do not want this new town on their doorsteps.”

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